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18 August, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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HC gives split order on Maya’s ministership

A High Court division bench yesterday delivered a split order on the legality of Awami League (AL) leader Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya’s membership of Parliament and ministership with regard to his conviction in a graft case.
At present, relief and disaster management minister Maya stands convicted in a corruption case with 13 years’ jail-term and Tk. 5 crore fine for amassing illegal wealth.
Justice Moyeenul Islam Chowdhury, senior judge of the HC bench, issued a rule asking Maya to explain in two weeks under what authority he is currently holding the offices of minister and lawmaker.
Justice Md Ashraful Kamal, junior judge of the same bench, however, rejected the writ, saying that Jatiya Sangsad speaker and Election Commission (EC) may decide about any dispute in this regard. He added that the EC will finally decide the fate of  Maya's membership of Parliament.
The HC bench sent the split order to the Chief Justice for constituting a third bench for final disposal of the petition. It came up with the order after concluding hearing on a writ petition filed by a Supreme Court lawyer, advocate Eunus Ali Akond, challenging the legality of Maya's membership of Parliament. The petition was filed with the HC on July 7, challenging the legality of Maya's membership of Parliament and ministership.
Earlier, on June 13, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed the corruption case against Maya with Sutrapur Police Station in the capital. On February 14, 2008, a special court awarded 13 years' imprisonment to Maya and a fine of Tk. 5 crore for amassing illegal wealth. The authorities concerned were also directed to confiscate Maya’s property.

Maya filed an appeal with the High Court, challenging the trial court’s verdict. On October 27, 2010, the High Court acquitted him of the graft charges.
However, in a recent move made by the ACC regarding the HC order, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on June 14 scrapped the HC verdict that had acquitted Maya of graft charges. The Appellate Division also asked the HC to conduct a fresh hearing to dispose of Maya’s appeal on merit. It also observed that the HC in its earlier verdict did not apply a ‘judicial mind’.
On June 30, Eunus Ali Akond ,sent a legal notice to Maya by post asking him to explain how he was still serving as a minister and an MP after the Supreme Court order that quashed his acquittal in the graft case. In his notice, Eunus said a convicted person cannot hold the position of an MP or a minister as per Article 66/2 (d) of the constitution.
The Article stipulates: ‘A person shall be disqualified for election as, or for being, a member of Parliament who has been, on conviction for a criminal offence involving moral turpitude, sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than two years, unless a period of five years has elapsed since his release.’

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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